How God Makes A Dark Crystal

he starts with a clean counter.

pulls her from his own rib; slices mango for her insides
mixes cashews and plantain as brains in her skull-bone bowl;
a sweet potato is scooped out and packed between pelvis (there
is never any ‘hacking’!) narratives are mashed into meal, made
into marrow, the makings of an unmasked black woman: all
oxtails and wild rice and extremely ocherous on the inside; dashes
of summer scented Indian Creek spices on the inside. seasoned
dandelion greens and a velvet spined bible in a red bean body;
a beauty from the black legume, casting shadows and iron, her
black roots thriving in clumped earth. her soots christen
the rare hearth for she is a daring epizootic.

that is the shape in which i found you & we are a foundation
now; together we became a-meant-to-be.

my new-old fetish: you are lovesongs in thigh high heels &
kente’d petticoats emancipated from the one lone african bin
at the franklin-simpson flea market - where discounted is most
mistaken as discontinued; where invisibility cleans up good…

your love is a dutiful dust / a rust protector honoring this ancient
lifestyle anew. your love, all alone, my love, is my linus-blanket.
you know, Olodumare hisself had to mine a whole mountain
of kilimanjaro snow and take tons of coal from eastern kentucky
to make you into some sort of everlasting music / jug-band and
djembe, yeah. bluegrass and foo-foo, yeah, yeah. with you, there
is always blackheaven in my coffee cup; your touch, lover, is cowries
in the collection plate. wherever your eyes draw focus becomes
my indefeasible faith / my entire fate sealed in the sweet plum-meat
of your opened palms offering alms for this ex-black-market weapons
dealer. you walk into a room and everyone gets a halo. turned
a second-hand sinnerman into a kind killer - puffy poet’s shirt, bath
and body works, a balladeer, the whole nine.
look at what you’ve made of me… and i thank you.

Olodumare removes his apron, his kitchen in clutters, flour
on the floor, his pots and pans spinning on their axes kicking
up dirt; dancing and dancing.

our meant-to-be an always-was.

for Crystal Wilkinson

the sound my blackness makes
fading in and out between
the shadows and
the i-have-a-dreamcicle incense smoke
separating us

i lick you / the bootblack of tongue
leaves its slender streak, its oil-slick
slob on your cheek / the globules
of a literary gawlo practitioner.

so electric my midnight atoms
passing its nebula through the eye
of your needle: all african + cosmic
in your nasal cavity - the cave wall
for my disembodied canon / etching
shades of hatshepsut & franz fanon
your nostrils flaring; the diaspora,
on a dare, diagrammed on
the insides of your 3rd-eye lid,
i kid you not…

i come from a long line of long lines.
the day you can see me i could kiss you,
but brrkktktkktkkkick nothin’
but static / your heels brrklckclicking
like shards of flint for good-witch glinda
to send harlequin bush-babies
to cover you in kansas, but they
are not the weather you want or like…

some flare over the reign beau.


and all there is
is crepuscule on canvas,
this rainbowed excrement,


this solar glare.

—  midnight paregoric